Trouble has been brewing for Bed Bath & Beyond for some time now. The major retailer continues to shutter stores amid declining sales—and just this month, the company expressed concerns about its ability to stay afloat. As a result, Bed Bath & Beyond is expected to file for bankruptcy soon, The Wall Street Journal reported, but in the meantime, it’s still looking for ways to maintain operations and keep cash flowing. The latest effort includes closing all of its Harmon drugstores. Read on to find out more about the latest mass closure.
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Bed Bath & Beyond is closing all of its Harmon drugstores, according to a notice posted on the company’s website. “Thank you to all of our loyal fans and customers,” the announcement reads. “Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to close our Harmon stores. You can look for your favorite products in select Bed Bath & Beyond stores or on bedbathandbeyond.com.”
There are 52 remaining Harmon locations, operating under Harmon Face Values or Face Values banners. The stores sell health and beauty products in six states: California, Connecticut, Florida, and Nevada, as well as New York and New Jersey—where it has the largest presence.
“As we consider all paths and strategic alternatives, we continue to work with our advisors and implement actions to manage our business as efficiently as possible,” Bed Bath & Beyond spokeswoman Julie Strider Yahoo Finance told about closure plans last week. “We will update all stakeholders on our plans as they develop and finalize.”
Bed Bath & Beyond hasn’t confirmed when the Harmon stores will close. As of this afternoon, however, the brand’s website is no longer active. best life reached out to the company for comment, but has yet to hear back.
On top of the 52 Harmon closures, executives also confirmed that 87 Bed Bath & Beyond flagship stores and five Buybuy Baby stores are closing, too. This is in addition to the 150 “lower-producing” Bed Bath & Beyond stores, which are part of closure plans announced in Aug. 2022.
Yahoo Finance Live anchors discussed Bed Bath & Beyond’s predicament, with Brian Sozzi explaining that the retailer is closing these stores “to conserve cash at this critical point in time.”
Sales have been declining for decades, Sozzi said, adding that 2017 marked a real drop-off. Now, the issue is exacerbated as Bed Bath & Beyond’s lenders cut off the company’s credit, and vendors have stopped shipping goods to its stores, out of fear that they might not be paid.
“If you cannot stock your shelves, you cannot drive sales,” Sozzi said. “You cannot bring in cash flow. And it eventually all just becomes a big black vortex.”
In fact, the anchor called Bed Bath & Beyond a “zombie retailer,” meaning that you can go visit stores, but you probably won’t have much to choose from. “You can probably go in there for now and get a towel, get a toothbrush if you need it, or some cups for your house,” Sozzi said. “But by and large, the inventory is unlikely to be current, and chances are if you go back in a couple of days after your most recent visit, the shelves will probably be bare.”
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Bare shelves go beyond just lost profits for the company—limited inventory also hurts Bed Bath & Beyond’s relationship with customers, experts say.
“If the consumer doesn’t think that there is any value in spending time there, or putting gas in the tank and spending any of that gas on your trip to Bed Bath & Beyond, or even walking into the store, then that just continues on with Bed Bath & Beyond struggling to move the product that they have in store,” Yahoo Finance Live Anchor BradSmith said on Jan 30.
In that case, shoppers are more likely to head to other chains where they can grab everything in one fell swoop—without having to worry about making multiple stops. “It’s a waste of time going there,” Sozzi said of Bed Bath & Beyond. “You want to get all of your shopping done in one day.”
In light of all these ongoing issues, Bed Bath & Beyond could be forced to close entirely, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company has limited options for restructuring due to its lack of financing, credit, and goods on the shelf—and if executives don’t find a solution or a buyer to purchase the business, the company may have to shutter most, if not all , of its stores.
That being said, a deal might still be struck, and the company has been in talks with a business services and restructuring company, Hilco Global, which could supply the funds to pay vendors, inside sources told the outlet.